Australia Politics & Government
Australia to open 'pop-up embassy' in Tallinn
Sweden has a new little princess
The Mooch: ‘My 11 days in the White House almost destroyed my marriage’
Australia's innovative education to boost Uhuru's Big Four agenda - envoy
Jacinda Ardern flies Allbirds across the ditch as pressie to Aussie counterpart
Australia PM has clear message for New Zealand on Kiwi deportees
US President Donald Trump attacks Attorney-General Jeff Sessions over Russia probe
Queanbeyan-Palerang mayor Tim Overall's former Liberal Party membership revealed
2018-03-13 10:12:40 Documents obtained by the Queanbeyan Age show Queanbeyan-Palerang mayor Tim Overall was once a member of the NSW Liberal Party despite claims he is apolitical. Prior to the council election in September last year Tim Overall and his ticket campaigned on a strict platform opposing political parties in local government. Cr Overall has confirmed that he was a member of the NSW Liberal Party in 2005 and 2006 but claims he had no recall over it until presented with the document   Read More ...
Trump blocks $150b Qualcomm takeover on national security grounds
2018-03-13 08:14:39 Donald Trump blocks $150b Qualcomm takeover by Broadcom on national security grounds United States President Donald Trump has blocked the $US117 billion ($150 billion) takeover of the nation's leading 5G mobile communications developer by Singapore-based technology giant Broadcom, citing national security fears. Key points: Donald Trump blocks the world's most expensive technology company takeover over on "national security" grounds Broadcom was attempting to buy the Qualcomm for $150 billion Mr Trump has already used the foreign investment veto twice in the past 12 months, compared to the three times it was used by previous presidents Mr Trump said there was credible evidence that lead him to believe that Broadcom's pursuit of US's biggest microchip maker Qualcomm "threatens to impair the national security"   Read More ...
Andrews government to buy land on city's fringe, build 14 new schools
2018-03-13 04:11:06 Land across Melbourne's booming outer suburban growth areas is to be bought up by the Andrews government and used to build more than a dozen new schools. The state government will spend almost $237 million to purchase the sites, most of them planned for Melbourne’s fringe. The funding commitment for 14 new schools is the first major bricks-and-mortar education announcement from the state government so far in this election year   Read More ...
Government lashes Labor's $59 billion 'tax hit' as anti-growth
2018-03-13 04:10:51 The Turnbull government has immediately lashed out at Labor's proposed termination of cash refunds for investors, worth $5.6 billion a year, describing the new policy as "brutal" and a theft of people's legitimate tax refunds. In a move mostly affecting wealthier Australians, a Bill Shorten-led Labor government would end cash refunds for taxpayers who own shares and claim tax credits on their dividends   Read More ...
'No collusion, coordination, conspiracy': Republicans release Russia probe draft report
2018-03-13 02:08:28 Donald Trump: US House Republicans say probe found no evidence of Russia collusion House Intelligence Committee Republicans say the panel has finished conducting interviews in its investigation of Russia and the 2016 US election, and found no collusion between President Donald Trump's associates and Moscow's efforts to influence the campaign. Key points: Committee Republicans release overview of probe Republicans say they have talked to everyone they need to Democrats says there are dozens more witnesses who should be called "We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians," committee Republicans said as they released an overview of their probe   Read More ...
Donald Trump's tough guy theatrics no match for China's economic weapons
2018-03-13 00:16:04 While Trump twirls his tinpot 17th century tariff, China's Xi Jinping extends his 21st century weaponised yuan with powerful effect. We know how Trump's faux-tough guy tactics will work out. His proposed tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium are stupid because experience tells us that they are self-harming as well as self-defeating. Self-harming because they will push up the price of steel and aluminium in America   Read More ...
Right-wing parties eye balance of power in NSW
2018-03-12 22:13:04 Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation are among the 19 parties who will contest next year's state election, as both sides of politics brace for the possibility of a hung parliament with right-wing parties holding the balance of power. The deadline closed last week for parties to register to run candidates in the March 2019 election in order to be eligible for electoral funding   Read More ...
Trump administration to fund weapons training for teachers, examine age for buying guns
2018-03-12 10:16:13 The White House has unveiled a new plan to prevent school shootings that backs away from President Donald Trump's support for increasing the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons to 21. Key points: The Trump administration pledges to help states pay for firearms training for teachers It also reiterates its call to improve the background check and mental health systems Trump has called for a full audit and review of the FBI tip line Instead, a new federal commission on school safety will examine the age issue as part of a package the White House announced in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month that left 17 dead   Read More ...
Shinzo Abe's wife's name removed from documents on suspected cronyism scandal
2018-03-12 10:15:54 The name of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife has been removed from documents regarding a suspected cronyism scandal, media say, as pressure mounts on the premier and his ally Finance Minister Taro Aso over a possible cover-up. Key points: A finance ministry official said 14 items had been altered in documents relating to the scandal The opposition is calling for Finance Minister Taro Aso to resign Mr Abe's ratings have slipped because of the suspected cronyism Mr Abe, now in his sixth year in office, had tried to put behind him questions over the sale of state-owned land at a huge discount to a school operator with ties to his wife, Akie   Read More ...
Australia’s mandatory gun buyback inspires activists, but few lawmakers
2018-03-12 09:46:41 WASHINGTON — It's become almost a mythic tale passed around after mass shootings, raised by everyone from President Obama to student survivors of the Parkland attack last month: Australia faced a similar problem with guns — and they solved it. After a gunman with an AR-15 rifle and high-capacity magazines opened fire at a tourist site in Port Arthur and killed 35 people in 1996, a conservative government led Australian states in passing sweeping new restrictions on firearms   Read More ...
Keep America Great: Trump reveals 2020 campaign slogan
2018-03-12 08:17:15 For years the cards seemed stacked against Australian women footballers; men stopped them from playing, insults were hurled as they trained and they couldn't afford gear that fit. The Matildas have changed all that. It is unclear if Cricket Australia has drawn a line in the sand but it is encouraging to see it acknowledge some of the behaviour of its Test team is unacceptable   Read More ...
Faith, fear and fascination from Canberra over the South Australian election
2018-03-11 22:09:55 State elections are always an exercise in parochialism, but the upcoming South Australian poll will be an example of that approach to politicking amplified tenfold. No-one in Canberra seems to know how the three-cornered contest will pan out, or how it will impact federal politics. It's prompting a mixture of faith in the political abilities of the major parties, fear of the unknown and fascination of the novelty of the campaign from federal politicians watching on   Read More ...
Voting in the remote APY Lands a unique challenge for the electoral commission
2018-03-11 22:09:54 How do you ensure that people who live in an area the size of England but with a population of just 3,000 get to vote? It's presents a unique set of circumstances for electoral authorities.   Read More ...
The fateful eight: how Malcolm Turnbull can rescue his government
2018-03-11 12:15:14 Time is a resource in politics as valuable as incumbency. Wisely paired, they offer a PM powerful advantages. Yet the Coalition seems oddly dull to its edge here, convinced instead that its fortunes will miraculously lift simply by saying the same uninspiring things over and over. While an improving economy may well provide the platform for political recovery, it is no guarantee, especially if the uptick in wages required to make growth tangible for middle- and low-income Australians remains elusive   Read More ...
Australia to open 'pop-up embassy' in Tallinn
2018-03-11 12:01:42 TALLINN (AFP) - Australia has announced that it will open its first "pop-up embassy" in Estonia's capital Tallinn, where the ambassador is to work for two months of the year. For the rest of the year, the embassy will maintain a virtual presence in the cyber-savvy country, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement on Wednesday. "Estonia is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world," she said   Read More ...
China says Trump's trade war 'will only bring disaster' to the world
2018-03-11 10:13:58 Donald Trump: China says trade war with US will bring the world 'disaster' as countries prepare tariff response Any trade war with the United States will only bring disaster to the world economy, Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan has said, as the European Union and Japan call for exemptions from metal tariffs. Key points: Donald Trump's announcement will impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium imports Australia, Mexico and Canada have been granted exemptions China says it will "resolutely defend" its interests if the move results in a trade war The comments came a week after US President Donald Trump announced heavy trade tariffs of 25 per cent for steel and 10 per cent for aluminium   Read More ...
China abolishes presidential term limits, allowing Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely
2018-03-11 10:13:55 China's Congress has passed a constitutional amendment that removes presidential term limits, allowing President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely. The vote passed with two "no" votes and three abstentions among almost 3,000 delegates. China's ruling Communist Party proposed the amendment last month and there was never any doubt it would pass as Parliament is packed with loyal party members who would not have opposed the proposal   Read More ...
China votes to allow President Xi Jinping to rule for life
2018-03-11 10:08:21 Beijing: China’s rubber stamp parliament on Sunday approved the most dramatic change to the Chinese political system in three decades, removing term limits for the president. The vote passed with just two opposing votes and three abstentions, according to sources inside the meeting. The move potentially hands Xi Jinping the presidency of the world’s second largest economy, and rising military power, for life   Read More ...
Sports stars helping government? What could go wrong?
2018-03-11 09:06:17 Oh, wait! Antarctica in our hands Good to be back. TFF has spent the last fortnight on a trip to Antarctica, going this time from Tierra del Fuego. The continent is as pristine and beautiful as ever, one of the planet’s treasures, and it will be the job of us all to protect it from those who seek to ravage its natural treasures   Read More ...
Sweden has a new little princess
2018-03-11 08:32:59 Princess Madeleine of Sweden has a baby girl PRINCESS Madeleine of Sweden has given birth to a baby girl. The little princess will join Europe’s largest royal family but is unlikely to ever ascend to the throne. SWEDEN’S Princess Madeleine has given birth to a baby girl in Stockholm, adding an new member to Europe’s largest royal family. “Mother and child are doing well,” the palace said   Read More ...
Government documents containing employee details found in sold filing cabinet
2018-03-11 08:10:14 The Department of Social Services has confirmed it lost government documents for several days containing the personal details of its employees, including security clearances, that were stored in a filing cabinet sold to a second-hand furniture store. The documents were found by a Canberra resident, who told The Sunday Canberra Times he purchased two filing cabinets from an ex-government furniture store in Fyshwick in May 2013   Read More ...
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets Queen, Prime Minister in Britain
2018-03-11 08:05:13 Mohammed bin Salman met with Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of York at Buckingham Palace for lunch on Wednesday and is due to dine with Prince Charles and Prince William during his stay. He will also meet with Prime Minister Theresa May at her rural retreat, Chequers, and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to discuss terrorism and military co-operation. However the visit comes amid protests over British arms sales to the Saudi government that have been used against civilians, including children, in the war in Yemen   Read More ...
Donald Trump says North Korea talks with Kim Jong-un could fail or bring 'the greatest deal for the world'
2018-03-11 06:09:07 US President Donald Trump says his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could fizzle — or it could result in "the greatest deal for the world" to ease nuclear tensions in the region. Mr Trump told a campaign rally for a Republican congressional candidate in western Pennsylvania that he believed North Korea wanted to make peace, saying "I think it's time   Read More ...
Government documents containing employee details found in sold filing cabinet
2018-03-11 05:05:40 The Department of Social Services has confirmed it lost government documents for several days containing the personal details of its employees, including security clearances, that were stored in a filing cabinet sold to a second-hand furniture store. The documents were found by a Canberra resident, who told The Sunday Canberra Times he purchased two filing cabinets from an ex-government furniture store in Fyshwick in May 2013   Read More ...
Pakistani women aspiring to become politicians fight oppression, prejudice and dirty tricks
2018-03-11 02:05:23 Krishna Kumari was the only girl in her school. In fact, she was the only girl that went to school in her entire village. Her parents approved, and her brother escorted her, but that didn't shield her from criticism. People in the village talked about her. They gossiped, because Ms Kumari was breaking the rules around what girls could and should do in her village   Read More ...
Donald Trump believes North Korea will suspend missile tests until May meeting
2018-03-11 02:05:17 US President Donald Trump says he believes North Korea will abide by its pledge to suspend missile tests while he prepares for a summit by May with the North's leader, Kim Jong-un. Mr Trump noted in a tweet that Korea had refrained from such tests since November and said Mr Kim "has promised not to do so through our meetings". "I believe they will honour that commitment," he wrote   Read More ...
The fateful eight: how Malcolm Turnbull can rescue his government
2018-03-10 22:08:53 Time is a resource in politics as valuable as incumbency. Wisely paired, they offer a PM powerful advantages. Yet the Coalition seems oddly dull to its edge here, convinced instead that its fortunes will miraculously lift simply by saying the same uninspiring things over and over. While an improving economy may well provide the platform for political recovery, it is no guarantee, especially if the uptick in wages required to make growth tangible for middle- and low-income Australians remains elusive   Read More ...
X marks the spot: Where Nick Xenophon's presence will be felt in the SA election
2018-03-10 22:08:53 Nick Xenophon is a political enigma in South Australia. This March, the former senator is out to redefine the state's political landscape. He's handpicked 36 candidates to run under the banner of his new SA Best party which is seeking the balance of power in the South Australian parliament. Statewide opinion polls show the fledgling party could command between a quarter and a third of first preference votes at the March 17 poll   Read More ...
'I don't care': Putin unfazed by allegations Russia meddled in US election
2018-03-10 16:15:54 'I don't care': Vladimir Putin on Russia's alleged meddling in US presidential election Vladimir Putin says he does not care about alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election, because the actions were not connected to his Government. In an interview with US TV network NBC, the Russian President was asked if he condoned the interference by 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies detailed in a US indictment   Read More ...
Chinese Liberal Party donor Sally Zou a no-show at Christopher Pyne party ahead of SA election
2018-03-10 16:15:48 Mysterious Chinese businesswoman Sally Zou was among 400 Liberal party elite invited to a party celebrating a quarter of a century in Parliament for Federal MP Christopher Pyne last night, but it does not appear she showed up. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined his cabinet ministers Julie Bishop and Simon Birmingham, and many other current and former politicians at the event in Adelaide's leafy eastern suburbs   Read More ...
Turnbull: U.S. set to grant Australia tariff exemption
2018-03-10 15:34:42 Sydney – The U.S. appeared set to grant Australia an exemption from its new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports following discussions between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Trump this week exempted Canada and Mexico from the duties – 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum – and said U.S. allies would have 15 days to negotiate possible exemptions   Read More ...
The winners and losers in Trump's import tariffs
2018-03-10 12:49:37 US President Donald Trump has said a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports and 10 per cent on aluminium will come into effect in 15 days. Planet America’s Chas Licciardello explains who might win and who might lose when those trade tariffs come into effect.   Read More ...
Donald Trump says North Korea meeting 'very much in the making', despite concerns
2018-03-10 12:16:21 Donald Trump has tweeted a "deal with North Korea is very much in the making", but the White House has said the President will not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un unless Pyongyang takes "concrete actions". Key points: Time and place for historical US, North Korea meeting yet to be decided Foreign policy analysts, some politicians warn against a meeting without preconditions White House says meeting won't happen without 'concrete steps' from North Korea "The President will not have the meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea, so the president will actually be getting something," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told a news briefing   Read More ...
Stakes are high but Pyongyang holds trump card
2018-03-10 11:52:17 It’s global-level diplomacy where the stakes could not be higher, but the schoolyard taunt “takes one to know one” is disturbingly apt. Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un “know” a belligerent adolescent when they see one and probably read each more accurately than phalanxes of high-minded strategic experts ever could. Still, there’s a hundred ways this historic meeting could go sideways for the West, not least because any post agreement backsliding would feel more personal, especially in Washington   Read More ...
After Canada and Mexico, Australia to be exempted from Trump's steel import tariff
2018-03-10 11:51:37 US President Donald Trump has indicated that Australia would soon be exempted from his decision to impose a 25 per cent tariff on import of steel and 10 per cent on aluminium. The proclamations signed by Trump in this regard a day earlier gives exemptions to only two countries - Canada and Mexico. However, Trump indicated that the Australian could be the third country   Read More ...
Australia PM says Trump to grant tariff exemption
2018-03-10 09:52:13 SYDNEY, Australia -- The U.S. appeared set to grant Australia an exemption from its new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports following discussions between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Trump this week exempted Canada and Mexico from the duties -- 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum -- and said U.S. allies would have 15 days to negotiate possible exemptions   Read More ...
Ex-Aussie PM Paul Keating praises Trump as 'surprisingly good' at foreign policy
2018-03-09 12:45:15 United States President Donald Trump is "surprisingly" good at foreign policy, according to former Australian prime minister Paul Keating, who says the US was directionless under the previous three administrations. Keating said on Friday he had not expected Trump to have "such a pragmatic" foreign policy on China and Russia, and he urged the president to continue down the path he was on   Read More ...
Estonia: Australia to open its first pop-up embassy in Tallinn
2018-03-09 12:07:36 TALLINN - Australia is to open its first pop-up embassy in Tallinn, in which the ambassador will work for a limited amount of time during the year. Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop agreed on opening the embassy at a meeting held in New York on Wednesday, spokespeople for the Foreign Ministry said. "We are glad that Australia has decided to open its first so-called pop-up embassy in Tallinn, which undoubtedly will increase Australia's visibility in Estonia and more widely in our region," Mikser said in a press release   Read More ...
Opinion: Trump's tariffs will have little impact on Australia
2018-03-09 06:11:44 Donald Trump's tariffs will have little impact on Australia and a trade war is unlikely United States President Donald Trump has levied a 25 per cent tariff on steel and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imported from all countries except Canada and Mexico. Trump had hinted that the trade protections would exclude Australia, but it wasn't explicitly exempted. Regardless, import tariffs on steel and aluminium will have only a small impact on the Australian economy, as Australia isn't a large exporter of steel or aluminium   Read More ...
North Korea: Donald Trump's unconventional style could succeed where others failed
2018-03-09 06:11:36 When Donald Trump was vying to be president, he had an idea. If he won the election he would sit down with Kim Jong-un, sort this Korea thing out, and share a burger at the same time. It sounded fanciful and they may not opt for a burger, but incredibly — for now at least — the leader of the world's most powerful nation is planning to meet face to face with the man he deridingly described as "Little Rocket Man"   Read More ...